The older I get, the more appealing nostalgia becomes and the more I yearn for the much simpler era of my childhood and youth. I’m not naïve enough to believe that the past was all wine gums and rose flavoured candies, because I know all too well that the memory can be a devious devil and favours the moments it cherished over those it loathed, but even taking that into account, it doesn’t change the fact that being young was far less complicated and arduous than being an adult.
Yesterday really was better than today and I’m willing to bet ten pristine packets, complete with the harder than adamantium pink bubble-gum, of Tops Stars Wars cards that it’ll be better than tomorrow too. That feeling of longing for yesteryear is almost certainly the reason I that I look forward to every issue of Retrofan with sheer, unadulterated joy, because I know that it’s pages will transport me back to the time my psyche longs for better than any Mr Coffeefied, plutonium powered DeLorean ever could. This morning, the seventh issue of Retrofan arrived and despite the fact that I should have been doing a hundred other vitality important in the real world things, I opened the first page and spent the rest of the day immersed in the cultural phenomena of the fifties, sixties and seventies and eighties. Today was, as Ice Cube once said, a good day.
Seven it would seem, really is a magic number as this issue of Retrofan plunges headlong into the world of Charlie’s Angels, charting the extensive history of the show, the collectables and merchandising that it spawned and features an interview with the longest serving Angel, Jaclyn Smyth. It’s the history lesson that you never knew you wanted, or needed, that leaves a smile a mile wide on your face while you desperately try to track down the episodes and some of the less expensive collectables online.
Then it’s deep dive time, and when I say deep I mean Mariana Trench deep*, Retrofan style as its writers and contributors peek behind the curtain of The Dick Van Dyke Show, chat to Larry Storch and the man who created Johnny Quest, Doug Wildley, open the book on the strangest issue of Batman ever, examine the beguiling history of the first superhero action figure Captain Action and then tell the story of the most collectable of all of comic book toys, Marvel World. Oh, and they also take a trip back in time to the Land of Oz, the theme park based on the novels of L. Frank Baum before adding a cherry to the top of this incredibly indulgent sundae with the usual features that celebrate collectors and their collections and the fads that time tried, but couldn’t quite manage, to forget. Retrofan is like a great bottle of bourbon. It’s just keeps getting better and better with age. Retro-tastic… Tim Cundle
*Which is really, really deep